Congress national spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi on Monday called Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar an accomplished man who played a part in the freedom struggle and went to jail for the country.

“I personally don’t subscribe to Savarkar’s ideology but that doesn’t take away the fact that he was an accomplished man who played a part in our freedom struggle, fight for Dalit rights and went to jail for the country, “he said.

In a tweet he further explained, “The strength of Indian thinking has been inclusive. Many strands of the freedom movement have existed—one cnot (can not) agree with the jingoism or violent elements of Savarkar’s nationalism nor with his vicious anti Gandhism but one can accept that he was imbued by nationalist motives.”

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) made it a poll promise to confer the Bharat Ratna to RSS ideologue VD Savarkar in its Sankalp Patra or election manifesto for Maharashtra Assembly Election. The ruling BJP and Opposition, including the Congress party were at daggers drawn over the issue which has charged up the political atmosphere not only in Maharashtra but the entire country.

Earlier, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on October 18 said that the Congress has problem with Savarkar’s ideology than with the man himself. “As far as Savarkarji is concerned, you would recall that Indira Gandhi had issued a postal stamp commemorating him. We are not against Savarkarji, but we are not in favour of the Hindutva ideology that Savarkarji stood for either.”

Congress leader Manish Tiwari last week tweeted and said, “Why does NDA/BJP Government want to confer Bharath Ratna on Savarkar why not Godse? Former was only chargesheeted & later acquitted for assassination of Gandhi while latter was convicted & hanged. On his 150 th Anniv(anniversary) if you want to defile his memory then go the whole nine yards?”

Congress believes that Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse was a follower of BJP’s parent party, RSS ideologue Savarkar was and under his influence.